Monday, February 28, 2011

Two-Day Marathon

Sunday, February 27, 2011:

Four miles on the indoor track at the University of Wisconsin River Falls. They have open running/walking on Sundays, and we took advantage today. This was the first run since Wednesday and Thursday’s 2-day 25-mile run. Two problems:

  • Today the left hip hurt a bit for the first mile or two. I can’t decide if it’s in the hip joint or a ligament that attaches in that general area. Anyway it went away, though I suspect it will be back.
  • Since Thursday I’ve felt an occasional pain deep in the right thigh. It’s brief, random, and not repeatable. It’m concerned that it might be in the femur bone. Myeloma does attack bones, including the femurs. As it happens, though, I am scheduled for a full-body PET scan in about ten days, so we will soon know if the right femur is in trouble.
The pain isn’t disabling when it appears. Easy runs are on the schedule this week. Short and soft.

Thursday, Feb 24:

Not quite a marathon. 24.8 miles in two days, 14 yesterday and 10.8 today. Like yesterday, I ran out of time or I might have run 12.2 today, which would have made it the full marathon distance, but it’s probably just as well. I seriously pushed the injury envelope as it was.

No injury, though, at least none noticed yet. The left hip grumbled a little again, probably oncoming arthritis, hopefully coming only very slowly. Was there a little pain in the left hamstrings? Not enough to be concerned about. It’s a masterpiece!

Wednesday, Feb 23:

This was intended to be a three-hour run in full marathon mode, running the usual 10 minute/mile pace. Everything was going fine, but unknown to me, the “softball guys” had scheduled the Bubble for batting practice starting at 10:00 am and I ran out of time. I stopped at 2:20:00, amid a shower of softballs. Some of those guys can really hit, too! About 14 miles.

Happily, there were no pains except maybe a little ache in the left hip. I was a little tired afterward, but not more than normal I think. I could probably have finished outdoors, as it was a nice, warm day, but decided instead to come run again the next day.

Tuesday, Feb 22:

Forty minutes, four miles, again in the Stillwater Bubble. After three full days off, I felt great, plenty of energy. Looking ahead to an 18-mile run the next day, however, I took it easy and ran the usual 10-minute/mile walk/run pace with no sprints or other bother. Just puttin’ one foot in front of the other.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Stretch Before AND after?

See the post for Wednesday, below.

Friday, Feb 18, 2011:

Forty minutes, four miles, in the Bubble again. Not so warm inside today - I was comfortable enough in long pants and a long-sleeve shirt. I wore ear cover, anso even the ear didn’t hurt. No pains, an excellent 30-mile week.

Thursday, Feb 17:

Sixty minutes, 6 miles, in the Stillwater Bubble. Warm outside today, and warm in the Bubble too. Usually I run in shorts, but for the first time I ran in short sleeves too. Except for a sore ear, no problems.

Wednesday, Feb 16:

Forty minutes, about 4 miles, in the Stillwater Bubble . After 12 miles the day before, I took it pretty easy. Nevertheless, in just a couple of loops of the soccer field, the left hamstrings started to speak up, as they had in the previous week. I have no doubt that they would have become worse during the run, as they had in the previous week. So I stopped and stretched the hamstrings, just bent forward and touched my toes for 15 seconds or so, then took off again, finishing the four miles with no pain at all. None AT ALL. The stretch actually fixed it, at least for that day.

I’ve always believed in stretching after a run, though I don’t do it often enough. But in recent years the idea of avoiding injury by stretching before the run has been thoroughly pooh-poohed by all those who think they know. A very recent study shows once again that pre-run stretching does not reduce injuries I believed those reports too, but now I think there’s a qualifier. There may be times when stretching a muscle that's already tight might actually prevent that muscle from being torn or pulled during the run. Oh, yeah!

Tuesday, Feb 15:

Two hours, about 12 miles, no pains or problems. I took Clif Shot gels at 40 and 80 minutes, with none of the stomach upset that I’ve had recently when taking gels. The difference? I didn’t have my usual coffee-latte before the run. I needed just one bathroom break to pee, no more.

I checked pace a few times, and I'm sure it was all of 12 miles. No pains! That’s an excellent sign. It’s a masterpiece!

Monday, Feb 14:

Forty minutes, about 4 miles, in the Stillwater Bubble. All OK, no pains.

Salad for dinner, mostly organic, ground bison beneath:

Friday, February 11, 2011

Hamstring Is Better

Friday, February 11, 2011:

Sixty minutes, at least, in the Stillwater Bubble. This run went quite well indeed - I wonder if the problems with the left hamstrings are over. I sure hope so.

I tried a new pair of Brooks Launch shoes today - they’re just fine. This is my fifth pair, and I like them as well as I liked the discontinued Brooks Burns. Cushioning but not much else - very comfortable.

Thursday, Feb 10:

Fifty minutes in the Stillwater Bubble. Possibly a dull ache in the hamstring toward the end, but no sharp pain. Tomorrow I’ll shoot for 60 minutes.

Wednesday, Feb 9:

Forty minutes (4 miles) in the Stillwater Bubble. Only a hint of pain in the hamstring at the very end of the run. I’ll try 50 minutes tomorrow.

Tuesday, Feb 8:

After three days without running, I tried to run in the Stillwater Bubble for an hour. I reached 45 minutes or a little more, and then the new left-hamstring pain reappeared. I had hoped for more after three days off.. Nuts.

The plan will be: Try to run 40 minutes tomorrow, but stop if there is any pain. Increase by 10 minutes per day if no pain.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Where Have the Raccoons Gone?

Until this year we were regularly harassed by those masked bandits, every night, trying to rob the bird feeders, or the garbage cans, or whatever, especially in the winter. None this year.

I think we figured it out. Raccoons don’t like coyotes at all, but coyotes like raccoons a lot! For dinner. In the past few days we’ve twice seen a large, dark, dog-like creature striding through the yard, obviously on the hunt. The first time we thought, in the shadows of early dawn, that it had the features of a wolf. Large enough, with a large head and long busy tail. We thought.

A few days later we saw another, also in the dark, and then it seemed a little smaller, tail less bushy, more like a coyote. Since wolves are not seen in the Twin Cities area, it was probably a coyote both times. In prior years we saw stray cats, too, and snowshoe rabbits, but not this year. Our cat has never been outdoors in her life; she’s afraid to go out. Now she has good reason.

Friday, February 4, 2011:

Oops - we ran in the Stillwater Bubble again, but today my left hamstrings had a new pain, not a serious pain and not the one that I’ve had in those hamstrings recently, but maybe enough to be a signal. I ran only a little, walking for most of the hour. It doesn’t hurt when I walk. I’ll skip running this weekend, probably Monday too, and hope that little pain goes away.

Thursday, Feb 3:

Six more miles in the Stillwater Bubble today, 60 minutes, run/walk, no problems.

Wednesday, Feb 2:

Stillwater Bubble, 120 minutes, about 12 miles. I ran the first 5 miles without walking, but felt a little discomfort on the outside of the right hip, possibly the start of bursitis, so I switched to the walk/run method which seems to be easier on my body. The hip quieted down.

I took gels at 40 minutes and 80 minutes. After the first one I felt some stomach upset, occasioning at least two extra trips to the bathroom. That’s not OK - it’s happened other times recently when I’ve taken gels. I have to fix it. First, I will try a semi-long run with gels but without the 16-ounce latte that I’ve also been having before the run. If that doesn’t work, perhaps I’ll try switching from Clif Shot gels to another brand.

Fruit and berries laid out in preparation for breakfasts (we all like this stuff). In just a few minutes, the marble board warms the frozen berries enough so that they don't hurt our teeth.